Exploring the Medicinal Marvel: Ela – A Botanical Treasure
Basonym of Drug
The botanical gem Ela, known for its myriad healing properties, bears the scientific name Elettaria cardamomum. This name serves as an entryway into the captivating realm of both botanical science and traditional medicine.
Main Sanskrit Synonyms
In the venerable texts of Ayurveda, Ela shines under the spotlight with an array of Sanskrit synonyms that reflect its unique qualities and therapeutic potential. Among the primary Sanskrit synonyms for Ela are:
- “Ela” simply refers to the botanical name “cardamom,” signifying the essence and identity of the plant itself.
- This synonym emphasizes the primary identity of the plant and its significance as a widely recognized and utilized spice.
- “Sukshma” translates to “small” or “minute,” while “Ela” refers to cardamom.
- “Sukshma Ela” underscores the tiny size of the cardamom seeds, which are highly prized for their aromatic and medicinal properties.
- “Truti” refers to a unit of measurement, often associated with a very small or minute quantity.
- “Truti Ela” vividly describes the minuscule size of cardamom seeds, highlighting their potency despite their small stature.
- “Utpala” translates to “blue lotus,” while “Ela” signifies cardamom.
- “Utpala Ela” draws a poetic analogy between the shape of cardamom pods and the petals of a blue lotus, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
- “Maha” means “great” or “large,” while “Ela” stands for cardamom.
- “Mahaila” emphasizes the significance and greatness attributed to cardamom due to its multifaceted benefits.
- “Vaktra” means “face” or “mouth,” and “Phala” signifies “fruit” or “seed.”
- “Vaktraphala” metaphorically likens cardamom pods to the face of nature, hinting at its pleasing appearance and aromatic quality.
- “Lavana” translates to “salty” or “savoring of salt,” while “Priya” means “beloved” or “favored.”
- “Lavana Priya” reflects cardamom’s characteristic flavor profile, often described as a delightful blend of sweet and slightly salty notes.
Regional Name (Vernacular names)
Ela’s widespread recognition and versatile applications have led to its proliferation under diverse vernacular names across cultures and regions. Among the regional names for Ela are:
- Hindi: Elaichi
- Bengali: Elachi
- Marathi: Velachi
- Tamil: Elakkai
- Telugu: Elakulu
- Kannada: Elakki
- Gujarati: Elaichi
- Malayalam: Elam
- Urdu: Elaichi
Classification of Dravya
Ela’s classification unfolds as follows:
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Sub-Kingdom: Phanerogamia
- Division (Phylum): Angiosperms
- Class: Monocotyledons
- Order: Scitamineae
- Family: Zingiberaceae
- Genus: Elettaria
- Species: Cardamomum
Classification of Dravya (Gana) as described in Charak and Sushrut
Charak : Swasahara, Angamarda Prashman, Shiro virechanopag, Katuka Skandh
Sushrut : Eladi
Vagbhat : Eladi, Trijatak, Chaturjatak
Ela, a botanical masterpiece, presents itself as a captivating perennial plant. It boasts elegant, lance-shaped leaves and inflorescences that lead to its prized greenish-white flowers. The real treasure, however, lies within the spindle-shaped capsules that hold the aromatic seeds, each encapsulating the essence of its therapeutic potency.
The seeds, often referred to as “cardamom pods,” stand as the invaluable repository of Ela’s medicinal properties. These pods house the tiny, aromatic seeds that are the heart of Ela’s therapeutic prowess.
Ela’s enchanting and potent qualities are owed to an intricate blend of bioactive compounds. Some noteworthy phytoconstituents found in Ela include:
Essential Oils: Ela is rich in essential oils, primarily composed of compounds such as terpinyl acetate, eucalyptol, limonene, and cineol. These oils are responsible for Ela’s distinctive aroma and flavor.
Terpenes: Ela contains various terpenes, which contribute to its aromatic and medicinal properties.
Flavonoids: These potent antioxidants are present in Ela and contribute to its potential health benefits.
Phenolic Compounds: Ela contains phenolic compounds known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Alkaloids: Certain alkaloids found in Ela may contribute to its therapeutic effects.
Minerals: Ela contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which play essential roles in overall health.